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Essential Compatibility Insights for Raspberry Pi 5: What You Need to Know Before Purchase

DFRobot Apr 19 2024 955

The Raspberry Pi 5 launch marks a revolutionary upgrade in single-board computing, boasting significant performance improvements and new tech innovation opportunities. Yet, transitioning from Raspberry Pi 4 to 5 comes with its compatibility challenges. This essential guide delves into these issues, offering a comprehensive Raspberry Pi 4 vs 5 comparison and practical solutions. Discover how to fully harness the Raspberry Pi 5's capabilities, ensuring a smooth upgrade and maximizing your tech projects’ potential.


Raspberry Pi 5 Introduction

Raspberry Pi 5, after four years of careful development, was released on September 28, 2023, not only inheriting the excellent tradition of Raspberry Pi 4B, but also achieving breakthroughs in performance, memory capacity, and connectivity. The advent of this new generation of single-board computer not only demonstrates the Raspberry Pi Foundation's commitment to innovation, but also heralds a major advancement in technology, providing developers, makers, and educators with a more powerful and efficient computing platform, while maintaining the low cost and high accessibility of Raspberry Pi products, making the most advanced technological innovations widely popularized.


Core Specifications of Raspberry Pi 5 and 4 Overview

Product Name

Raspberry Pi 5 Single Board Computer - 8GB

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B - 8GB






Upgraded Quad-Core Cortex-A76 (ARM v8) 64-bit @ 2.4 GHz

Quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit @ 1.8 GHz


VideoCore VII

VideoCore VI



2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM


Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet


Dual-band 802.11ac

Dual-band 802.11ac


Bluetooth 5.0 with BLE

Bluetooth 5.0 with BLE


2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0

2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0

Video Output

Dual 4Kp60 HDMI® display output

Dual micro HDMI ports (up to 4Kp60)


3.5mm audio jack, HDMI audio output

3.5mm audio jack, HDMI audio output


40-pin GPIO header

40-pin GPIO header


USB-C power connector

USB-C power connector


88mm x 58mm x 19.5mm

88mm x 58mm x 19.5mm

Add to Cart

Add to Cart

Add to Cart


Raspberry Pi 5 has introduced a higher-performance CPU and GPU, improved processing speed and graphics processing capabilities, and enhanced memory and connectivity options such as dual 4K display output and accelerated MicroSD card read and write speeds, bringing an unprecedented experience to users. These upgrades not only meet a wide range of needs from basic education to high-end development, but also bring new innovative possibilities to the Raspberry Pi community.

However, with these advancements, a series of compatibility challenges have also emerged, especially for users familiar with Raspberry Pi 4. Next, we will explore these challenges and their solutions to help users fully utilize the improved features of Raspberry Pi 5.


1. rpi.gpio Library Compatibility Challenge

The release of Raspberry Pi 5 brought significant performance and feature enhancements, but also sparked a series of compatibility challenges, particularly in GPIO programming. Because Raspberry Pi 5 uses a different chip for GPIO control than Raspberry Pi 4, the widely used rpi.gpio library cannot work directly on Raspberry Pi 5.

Considering that the rpi.gpio library has not been updated since June 2022, this situation indicates that users relying on this library need to find new solutions to adapt to this new generation of single-board computer.


Figure: rpi.gpio library has not been updated since June 2022



To overcome this challenge, the community has provided a compatibility library named rpi-lgpio as a solution. The rpi-lgpio library simulates the API of rpi.gpio by calling the new lgpio library at a lower level, achieving backward compatibility and allowing users to continue using familiar GPIO programming interfaces on Raspberry Pi 5. Here are the specific steps:


Installing the rpi-lgpio Library

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sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

1. This step ensures the system is compatible with the latest library.2

2. Install the Library: Install the rpi-lgpio library by executing the following command:

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sudo apt install python3-rpi-lgpio

1.This command installs the rpi-lgpio library from the official source, enabling you to use the familiar GPIO programming interface on Raspberry Pi 5.


Using rpi-lgpio in Your Code

Code Compatibility: The rpi-lgpio library is designed to simulate the API of rpi.gpio, allowing you to use it in your Python scripts almost the same way, providing a smooth transition to Raspberry Pi 5.

For advanced users who need to directly manipulate specific sensors or motors, if their relied-upon libraries do not adopt the standard rpi.gpio interface but directly call deprecated APIs, then the compatibility layer of rpi-lgpio will not be able to assist. In such cases, users may need to look for new libraries or develop their own solutions to adapt to Raspberry Pi 5.

This change, while presenting certain challenges, also offers an opportunity for community members to update and optimize their projects, fully leveraging the improved features of Raspberry Pi 5. By adapting to these changes, users can enjoy significant enhancements in processing power, memory capacity, and connectivity on Raspberry Pi 5, opening new possibilities for various innovative projects and application development.


2. Power Compatibility Challenges

Some users have reported encountering power compatibility issues. The Raspberry Pi 4 requires a 5V 3A (15W) power supply. To achieve optimal performance and support peripheral connections, the Raspberry Pi 5 needs a 5V 5A (25W) power supply. Specifically, when using certain 27W USB-C power supplies, the system may sometimes display a "low power" message, even without any USB devices connected. This issue has raised concerns among users as it could affect the normal use and stability of the Raspberry Pi 5.



To address this power compatibility issue, the community and Raspberry Pi officials have suggested the following recommendations:

1. Check the Power Connection: First, ensure the USB-C power cable is fully inserted into both the Raspberry Pi 5 and the power socket. Sometimes, an insufficient connection can cause power instability issues.

2. Use the Official Power Supply: The importance of using the official recommended power supply is reiterated. The official power supply is specially designed to meet the power requirements of the Raspberry Pi 5.

3. Firmware Update: Raspberry Pi officials may resolve this issue through a firmware update. Users should regularly check and update their Raspberry Pi firmware to receive the latest improvements and fixes. The firmware can be updated by running the following command:

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sudo rpi-update

3. Operating System Compatibility Challenges

Some users have encountered compatibility issues when attempting to boot Raspberry Pi 5 using a microSD card preloaded with Pi OS. Specifically, upon attempting to boot the device for the first time, a message appears on the screen stating: “The installed operating system (OS) does not indicate support for Raspberry Pi 5.” This issue points to a compatibility problem between the preloaded version of Pi OS and the Raspberry Pi 5 hardware, preventing the system from properly recognizing the new hardware.



To address this compatibility challenge, here are several practical steps:

1. Update the Operating System Image: This is the most direct solution to the problem. Use the latest Pi OS image and write it to the microSD card using the Raspberry Pi Imager tool to ensure the operating system supports Raspberry Pi 5 hardware.

2. Edit the config.txt File: Although directly modifying the config.txt file to set os_check to 0 may not be a viable solution, after updating the operating system image, ensure the settings in the config.txt file correctly reflect Raspberry Pi 5's hardware configuration.

3. Contact the Supplier: If the problem persists, especially when using a preloaded Pi OS microSD card, it is recommended to contact the supplier for an updated OS version or other forms of support.



While these compatibility challenges present certain obstacles, they also offer an opportunity for community members to update and optimize their projects. By adapting to these changes, users can enjoy significant improvements in processing power, memory capacity, and connectivity with Raspberry Pi 5, opening new possibilities for various innovative projects and application development. We encourage users to participate in the Raspberry Pi community, share their problems and solutions, and collectively push technology forward.

With these additions and optimizations, the document not only provides comprehensive information about compatibility issues with Raspberry Pi 5 but also enhances reader engagement and problem-solving capabilities, further strengthening the collaborative spirit of the Raspberry Pi community.


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